A food system or multiple food systems? What does it mean and does it have any boundaries? And how do we understand its transformation? The Food Systems Transformation Summit aims to put the various WCSG food systems research in the limelight and to create a dialogue which will enable us to understand and explore the common threads in our research across the different chair groups.
The topic of food systems transformation is one of the unifying themes within the WCSG. Each of the individual chair groups of LAW, PAP and ENP have conducted extensive research on governing food systems transformations, across contexts and world regions from varying perspectives. Yet, our combined research and expertise remains relatively invisible both within WUR and to external stakeholders. The Food Systems Transformation Summit aims to put the various WCSG food systems research in the limelight and to create an equal dialogue which will enable us to understand and explore the common threads in our research across the different chair groups.
This incubator aims to foster cross-sectional engagement between the different WCSG groups – horizontally as well as vertically: from professors to PhDs and to students - on the topic of food systems transformation. This to (i) create a unifying framework for showcasing our research and expertise and (ii) enabling a non-hierarchical dialogue to foster collaboration and guide the future food systems governance leaders.
The project revolves around a half-day summit for WCSG staff, PhDs and students. The event involves a series of panel discussions between staff from the different chair groups and space for further discussion and exchange between researchers and students. Through these dialogue processes, we hope to explore together the similarities and differences between food systems perspectives and research approaches in our chair groups. The summit will also encourage collaboration between the chair groups and help us think through how we can best present our work to internal and external stakeholders, with potential further implications for education.
Towards food systems change
This proposal focuses on the interactions between three levels of food systems change: legal, policy and social practices. It addresses questions such as:
- What are food systems? How do food systems relate to, say, economic, legal, or ecological systems? Do food systems have boundaries? Where do these lie? What does this mean for research approaches and methods?
- What are normatives perspectives on food? What is 'food' to different societal groups and stakeholders?
- How can we understand and achieve food systems change at different scales and in different geographical regions? What are the interactions between the local and global?
Timeline of Planned Activities
Our timeline is geared at a longer WCSG engagement with the aims of this project throughout the next academic year. The project duration is from May 2021 – December 2021.
Step 1- May -Aug
- Create a shared webpage (ongoing process) that may serve as a gateway for communication on WCSG Summit related research and debates and where we communicate the upcoming mini-summit and other outputs of this projects
Step 2- May-Sept
- Organize a half-day summit afternoon. We aim for an offline event on the 30th of September 2021, COVID-19 providing
Step 3- Sept-Dec
- Harnessing the outcomes of the summit in enhancing the webpage, developing a written output, and defining further steps for the WCSG to come to life in research and education for societal impact
The main deliverables of this project are:
- WCSG Mini-Food System Summit, as described above
- shared web page or 'food systems gate way' on the WCSG WUR website
- written output e.g. a policy brief or a position paper